Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The resurrection of my iPhone

Or "how to fix an iPhone after its been dropped in the loo"

So a few weekends ago (admittedly on a first-world scale) disaster struck. I'd filled my iPhone to capacity with photos and videos of Doof and was on my way downstairs to download them all onto my computer. I'd been meaning to do it for the last few weeks but kept putting it off and thinking "tomorrow tomorrow". Anyway on the way downstairs I popped into the bathroom... and accidentally dropped my iPhone into the (clean!) loo. 

I fished it out immediately and so "Operation Save iPhone" began...

Below I'll detail a mixture of information I gleaned from the Internet, things I did or didn't do and what could work.

How to de-waterlog your phone:

Step 1:

Easiest way is not to break it. Specifically don't put it in your back pocket because it probably will fall out. And if you're unlucky enough to be standing near the loo, it may fall in :(

Step 2:

Remove any screen guard/protective case etc and dry it off superficially as best you can using paper towels (more absorbent than a regular towel and you can bend over a corner to go inside little nooks and crevices). Never use a hair dryer. 

Step 3:

Pick your preferred long-term drying method. The most popular options are a bag of uncooked rice or a huge amount of silica gel sachets. Whichever you choose leave your phone for at least 48 hours but preferably for 3-4 days minimum for best chance of resurrecting your phone.

I put my phone in a Tupperware with a dehumidifier block for 3 days and then tried to turn it on and charge it - when nothing happened I then hedged my bets and put it in a bag of rice for 4 more days.

Dehumidifier block - make sure your phone is not touching the bottom of the tupperware in case any water pools there

Bag of rice - submerge your phone completely and get rid of most of the air in the bag. Use uncooked and plain rice (without any coating on).

Step 4:

After 7 days of trying to dry my phone off I plugged it into my computer again to see what would happen. Excitingly the battery sign came on as if it was trying to charge…. But then nothing else happened :(

I left the phone “charging” for the next hour but still nothing more happened – it wasn’t being picked up by my computer and when I tried to turn it on nothing happened.

So I took it to an “iPhone repair shop” in West Kensington. We found this small independent shop advertising on the internet as being able to repair water damaged phones and as the Apple shop won’t help with repairs for water-damaged phones we thought it was worth a try.

And… after 5 days they called me and said it was completely fixed! Cost £49 and for that I got a fully functional iPhone back, with all my photos/videos intact and a warranty for the next month.

So happy!

And the first thing I did as soon as I got home was download all my photos to the safety of my computer! And then backed them up on an external hard drive. And then further backed them by uploading them to an online storage system. Lol

So a happy ending for me and all my photos of Doof. Below are a few of the ones which were lost but are now ok :)

Hopefully you will never get your phone wet but here are some other tips I read/was told (I can’t vouch for the reliability of any/all of them!!):

-          remove the sim card holder before drying
-          don’t try and turn your phone on after submersion before drying it – risk of frying/shorting all the insides
-          hoard all the mini silica packets that come in new handbags etc and put those in a sandwich bag with your phone to help dry it out
-          after drying it out attach phone to computer with lead, rather than to wall charger. That way you may still be able to access (and save) all the data on the phone even if it doesn’t work to make calls etc

But my BIGGEST TIP is back up back up back up your phone really regularly, have iCloud or Clonephone or something similar - no one wants to lose their pictures, especially baby ones which you can never take again...

Friday, 23 August 2013

Nursery update (part 2)

So here’s a quick update to our nursery story – a lot has changed since my last nursery post, most of it positive :)

Week 2

Session 5 (afternoon, 2 hours): lasted the full 2 hours!! Woohoo! Was a bit tearful when I arrived to collect him but he’d even managed to have a sleep whilst there which was definitely a positive development!

Week 3

Unfortunately Doof was really sick during this week and actually spent 3 nights in hospital. So he not only missed a whole week of sessions but by the time he went back in Week 4, he hadn’t been there for nearly 2 weeks so I was worried it might be back to square 1...

Week 4

Session 6 (day, 5 hours): so unsurprisingly the first session after such a long break did not go perfectly. I was called back after 2.5 hours as he was just upset, had refused any lunch and they couldn’t cheer him up. Not a good day for Doofy :(

Session 7 (day, 5 hours): Doof did it – he started at 9am, had a sleep, had lunch and had another sleep and I picked him up at 2pm. So proud of how well he did after so much struggling before. I can’t honestly say he looked very happy when I picked him up… but he wasn’t crying (he was just having a big cuddle from one of the nursery staff!).

Session 8 (day, 5 hours): I was at a work course so Daddy was in charge of drop off and pick up today and it all went really well. Doof was even playing by himself when OH went to collect him – first time he was ever not having to be cuddled non-stop by someone! #milestone

Session 9 (afternoon, 3 hours): Another good day, he ate all his tea and was busy shaking a rattle when I arrived to collect him (whilst having his standard cuddles with his key worker!)

Session 10 (morning, 3 hours): Doof is becoming an old hand at this nursery lark now (although he is still far from managing the 11-12 hour stints he’s going to be doing eventually).


So all in all lots of positive developments since my first nursery post. Next week is our penultimate one and he has nursery settling every day, with the longest stint being 8 hours… fingers crossed it all carries on going well as that will definitely make my return to work easier.

The only thing bothering me remains the sleep issue. They put him in a cot once but he woke up when another baby cried so since then they have put him to sleep in his buggy every time. At least he gets some sleep but it means he is getting maximum 45 minutes each nap (so no long nap post-lunch) – probably because he likes sleeping on his side/tummy and moves around a lot when sleeping, none of which he can do in a buggy :( 

I really hope letting him sleep in the buggy so much doesn’t have a knock-on effect and make him worse at settling in his cot at home. And I really hope they try him in the cot again as I don’t want him to always sleep in his buggy for the next few years at nursery!

Sunday, 18 August 2013


I am struggling with enormous of feelings of guilt this week, partly exacerbated by seeing how sad he has been when unwell and how much he needed us around.

So I go back to work in under 2 weeks, nursery settling-in has started and I am in the process of trying to work out who is going to do drop off/pick up/give Doof breakfast and supper etc each day.

Due to mine and OH’s working patterns and commute distances Doof is going to be dropped with someone at 7am (nursery opens at 7.30) and then (hopefully!) brought home by someone when nursery closes at 6 as neither of us will be home before 6.30 at earliest (and probably nearer 7)… I feel so guilty that he is going to be out of his house, and not with either of us, for around 12 hours a day.

I feel so guilty that we will just have time in the morning to wake him and get him dressed before shipping him off for someone else to give him breakfast and get him properly ready for the day ahead.

I feel so guilty that when all the other mums and dads drop their babies off at nursery he will already be there (as one of his nursery teachers has agreed to do the 7-7.30 stint).

I feel so guilty that when all the other mums and dads arrive at nursery to pick up their babies he will be left waiting for a stranger to collect him.

I feel so guilty that we won’t be there to see his first steps or hear his first words, as odds are over 70% in favour of those happening when we’re not with him.

I feel so guilty that I’ll have to hear about his day at nursery second-hand from whoever has him in the evenings as I won’t be there to see the nursery staff myself.

I feel so guilty that for one week in three I won’t be there to tuck him in at night as I won’t get home til 11pm and that another week he won’t see me in the mornings as I will have been working all night and still won’t be home.

I feel so guilty that I will miss so much of his formative years, time when he is growing and changing and developing as “him”.
I think it is all getting to me this week as not only is back-to-work rapidly approaching but I still don’t have my rota so have no idea what shifts I’m working when, have no idea what hours I’ll be working in 2 weeks time, if I’ll see Doof in the mornings or evenings or neither and am completely unable to finalise full childcare arrangements.

I am worried that. Doof is quite a mummy’s boy (unsurprising as he’s spent every day of the last 10 months with me – think the longest I have been away from him is 2 or 3 hours – the joys of exclusive breastfeeding!!) and the few nursery-settling sessions so far haven’t exactly been a resounding success… how is he going to feel suddenly being left for over 12 hours a day?

And lastly I am worried about when Doof gets sick (which he obviously will in nursery). Neither my job nor my OH’s will be easy to get any time off from and as we are both full-time the pressure will be on to hire an “emergency nanny” to look after him instead. But how horrid will that be for him – to introduce a new person into the mix, especially as they’ll be around at his worst/more tired/most stressed/most sad times.

I think being a working parent is going to be really hard. Even harder than I ever imagined.

Despite all this I am trying to think about the positives.

That we will have even nicer times at the weekends as it’ll be more special.

That he will enjoy socialising with other children at nursery.

That once I am back at work I will enjoy it (hopefully!).

That …… I’m not sure I can think of any others :(

If you can, or if you’ve gone back to work and have a happy tale about it, please comment below as I would love to switch my guilt off (or at least turn it down a bit) so I enjoy these last few weeks rather than stressing out.

A picture to cheer myself up - who would want to leave this??

And another one :)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cups, cups, cups… or bottle avoidance

A legacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of Doof’s life meant he never had a regular bottle and so when it came time to give him water with meals and wean him onto formula pending return to work, we decided to avoid bottles altogether and go straight to a cup (rather than introducing a bottle only to have to wean him off it a few months later).

But trying to convince a baby to go from boob (warm, comforting, smells of mummy, intrinsically linked with cuddles etc etc) to a plastic cup is not the easiest of tasks. As a result we have tried (I think – it definitely feels like it!!) every single cup available from Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Boots and John Lewis.

Here’s what we thought:

Tommee Tippee “First Cup”

This seems to be the pretty standard choice of most people.

§       Free-flow spout means baby learns more quickly what a cup is all about
§       Easy to clean, only 2 components
§       Handles easy to hold – Doof could do it easily aged 5 months

§       Free-flow spout means milk/water goes everywhere when Doof over-enthusiastically waves the cup around…
§       The lids are nearly impossible to get off (tip – make sure spout is open before you try)
§       Only holds 190ml which is less than most babies take in a single bottle aged 6-12 months
§       Very difficult to get the last 30-40ml out of the cup (due to ridging around spout hole)

Doof didn’t find this the easiest cup initially – probably because he was young when I first introduced it (4 months) and it was so different to the boob. So we stopped using it but have recently gone back to it and now he loves it. He will happily drink 150ml of milk from it, holding it himself and with only minimal tipping-it-upside-down!

Tommee Tippee “First Sips Cup”

We tried this one second. I thought Doof liked it initially but he quickly started to get frustrated with it.

§       “No spill” system due to valves inside lid so even if held upside down nothing comes out

§       Due to valve system baby has to suck really hard to get any drink out
§       Assembly is fiddly with the cup, spout and 2 different valve pieces – so lots of little bits to clean/lose etc
§       Sometimes even when the valves were correctly assembled still no drink came out but there was no way of me knowing until Doof got more and more cross…

We didn’t get on with this one at all. It was really fiddly to clean and put together and half the time there was hardly any flow, however hard Doof sucked. So not much incentive for him to keep sucking.

Tommee Tippee “Tip It Up Cup”

§       Combines elements of free-flow with system to reduce most spills
§       Larger cup so holds more drink
§       Handles easy to hold – Doof could do it easily aged 5 months
§       Soft spout which some say is much better for oral development than a hard one

§       Because it’s designed to be free-flow-ish, if baby pulls spout out of mouth too quickly or when half sucking, a lot of drink spills everywhere as the spout is really wide when open
§       No markings on cup so difficult to work out volumes for milk or to know how much your baby has drunk

This seems to be an intermediate between ‘First Cup’ and ‘First Sips Cup’. It has complete free-flow when sucked but if tipped upside down (briefly!) it doesn’t leak. This can dupe you into a false sense of security that it won’t be messy though and then suddenly your baby ends up with milk all over themselves! This was our preferred cup until we discovered the Nuby one below.

Doidy cup

§       Most similar to the standard cup that children/adults use
§       Helps babies learn how to sip and swallow in a co-ordinated way
§       Very easy to clean

§       Mess, spills, more mess, puddles of drink everywhere!

This is obviously the model we are all aiming towards but I am definitely not the sort of saint that can cope with using this cup at every meal! Doof seems to really enjoy drinking from it though and he is starting to get the hang of taking a sip and then putting the cup back down rather than just pouring more and more around his face. At the moment I try and use it once a day and just put a small amount of water in the bottom – the keep topping it up as he drinks it – leads to a lot less spillage!

Nuby “Grip’n’Sip”

§       Soft spout
§       Easy for Doof to handle

§       When you screw the spout on it can twist out of the handles groves if you are not careful – its easy to fix but you need to be aware of it
§       Not truly free-flow
§       No volume markings on cup (I ended up marking some on with a permanent marker)
§       Need to clean spout carefully if using it for milk as there are a few little crevices where milk can pool
§       After several sucks the spout becomes deformed and indents at an angle. It is easy to fix by just pinching the spout between your fingers to release the vacuum and then the spout returns to normal.  This may just be the way Doof sucks but it happens a couple of times every time he uses it – it’s not a major problem and he can still drink when the spout is deformed but I think the drinking angle is slightly more awkward.

This was our preferred cup from 5.5 months (when we discovered it) until now. We had a red one for water and blue one for milk. Doof still uses it for water at mealtimes (mainly so it doesn’t matter if it gets shaken around/thrown off highchair etc – a regular occurrence!) but for milk we have switched back to the TT First Cup as the flow is quicker and I want him to start getting used to free-flow. Would definitely recommend this as a first “starter cup”.

Tommee Tippee “Easy Drink Beaker”

§       “No spill” system due to valves inside lid so even if held upside down nothing comes out
§       Much larger beaker so holds a lot more drink

§       There are no handles
§       Due to valve system baby has to suck really hard to get any drink out
§       Assembly is fiddly with the beaker, spout and 2 different valve pieces – so lots of little bits to clean/lose etc
§       Sometimes even when the valves were correctly assembled still no drink came out but there was no way of me knowing until Doof got more and more cross…

We only used this one twice as Doof just didn’t understand what to do/how to hold it as there are no handles. I suspect this one will be better when he is older (more than 12 months) although the cup info did say it was suitable for his current age.


So there it is - Doof and my top picks are the Nuby to start with, followed by the Tommee Tippee First Cup.
Have you tried any other cups with your baby?
Did you find them good or bad?
I'd love to hear what has and hasn't worked for you all :)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Nursery (part 1)

I’m going to add to this post every week or two while Doof is doing his nursery settling-in. His nursery is brilliant as they offer free settling-in over 4-5 weeks which is perfect for us as Doof is not taking to it very quickly…

I’m hoping that with time it will reflect a massive improvement in how Doof is getting on and maybe  will help other people who are starting on the settling-in period. Or it could horrifically put them off if it is a complete disaster!! Lol

The goal is for him to be in nursery for 11 hours a day  from the start of September...


Week 1

Session 1 (afternoon, 1 hour): as it was his first session I stayed for the hour and sat on the floor playing with him. He crawled off, explored toys, looked interested in everything happening around and wasn’t that interested in being near me (although he did check every now and then that I was still there). Woohoo I thought… this bodes well for him having fun here and not needing me :)

Session 2 (afternoon, 1 hour): was called after 40 minutes as he was too upset despite their best efforts to cheer him up

Session 3 (afternoon, 1 hour): he lasted the whole hour but had to be cuddled and carried around by his key worker the whole time. Baby steps I suppose…

Week 2

Session 4 (afternoon, 2 hours): called back 3 times, stayed about 10 minutes each time during which Doof would happily play, leave my side to go and explore things, interact with other babies… but within 10-15 minutes of me leaving he was crying so much they had to call me back

Session 5 is later today… wish us luck!


I’m wondering if mornings might be better as Doof is generally a bit more tired in the afternoons. I guess we’ll see next week...

What I am most worried about is sleeping though. Doof is completely regressed and is now a nightmare to get to sleep – he cries for up to 30 minutes before each nap (even if I keep going in every few minutes) and I am really worried about how he is going to cope at nursery. Am sure they won’t let him cry for ages in the ‘sleeping room’ as he will disrupt all the other babies, so will they just not make him sleep if he resists? Will they cuddle him to sleep which might just reinforce this behaviour? Or will he miraculously change his behaviour as soon as he sees the other babies settling to sleep without a problem??!! I’d like to think that is what will happen, but am rather dubious :(